Cup carnival produces huge boost for economy

1Foul weather has failed to stop last year’s Melbourne Cup carnival from delivering a $728 million windfall to the Australian economy.

Rain and cold temperatures put a slight dampener on crowd numbers at the four-day racing extravaganza, especially on VRC Derby day where constant rain caused the attendance to drop below the 2009 level.

More than 360,000 people passed through the Flemington gates during the four meetings but Victoria Racing Club chief executive Dale Monteith said the rain knocked about 30,000 off the Derby day crowd.

“We would have conservatively had probably 390,000 if we had reasonable weather on Derby Day,” he said.

The VRC has released a study, which estimated last year’s 150th Melbourne Cup carnival delivered a gross national economic benefit of $728 million, up by two percent on the 2009 figures.

The study declared the carnival produced a $350 million boost to the Victorian economy with $182 million of that figure coming from tourists from interstate and overseas.

“Even people who have functions at home or functions at the local golf club or the local RSL, all of that adds to the expenditure associated with the carnival,” Victorian Racing Minister Denis Napthine said.

“So we believe that the expenditure will continue to go up as the interest in the carnival expands.”